Paneer Tikka Masala combines super flavorful Indian spices and tasty Paneer with a creamy, rich and incredibly delicious sauce. It is perfect for anyone looking for a vegetarian Indian dish that is packed with all the tasty Indian flavors. Serve this dish with fluffy rice and vegetables for a delicious and healthy meal.
If you ask people what their favorite Indian dish is, you will probably hear chicken tikka masala more than once. The reason is the amazing curry sauce that chicken tikka masala is served with. The sauce is made with a special curry blend, tomato sauce and cream which give the curry its unique flavor. And even though I love a tasty chicken curry, I sometimes prefer the vegetarian version of my favorite recipes to switch things up. So if you love flavorful Indian dishes and want to try out something new, this vegetarian paneer tikka masala might be what you need! It features tasty paneer (an Indian type of cheese) and an amazing sauce that make this dish just as tasty as a traditional chicken tikka masala.
To make this paneer tikka masala recipe, you will need some Indian ingredients. But they should be very easy to buy at large grocery stores, Asian supermarkets or Indian supermarkets. I also modified some of the ingredients that are usually used to make an authentic paneer tikka masala to make this recipe super easy to make and healthy without sacrificing any of the delicious Indian flavors! Here is what you’ll need:
- Paneer. Paneer is an Indian cheese that is great for all kinds of curry recipes. You should be able to find it in large grocery stores, Asian supermarkets or Indian supermarkets.
- Greek Yogurt.
- Tomato passata and tomato paste.
- Coconut milk.
- Ginger and garlic. These two are a must for any kind of flavorful curry or stir fry.
- Onion. I recommend using yellow onion.
- Chile pepper. If you don’t like or can’t handle hot food, then skip the chile pepper.
- Spices. You’ll need garam masala, ground cumin, ground turmeric and ground coriander for this recipe. The key to this recipe is the garam masala curry blend, so don’t skip it. You should be able to find it in regular grocery stores that offer a variety of spices.
How to make paneer tikka masala
Making paneer tikka masala is super simple and easy! Just follow these steps:
- Marinade the paneer: Marinade the paneer with minced garlic, grated ginger, greek yogurt and a spice mix of garam masala, ground cumin and ground turmeric and set aside.
- Make the sauce: Next, you prepare the sauce. Add the diced chile pepper, onion, minced garlic and grated ginger to a large pan or pot, and sauté them until the onion is translucent. Then, add the tomato paste and spices for the sauce to the pot and sauté a bit more. Next, you add the tomato passata and coconut milk, and let the curry sauce simmer for approx. 15 minutes with the pot covered.
- Bake the paneer: While the sauce simmers, you can take care of the paneer. Bake the paneer in the oven and make sure you check on the paneer while it bakes. You might have to flip it so it doesn’t burn on the bottom side. Bake until the paneer is golden.
- Combine and serve: When the paneer has finished baking, the sauce should be ready, too. Add the paneer to the sauce, mix everything and serve the paneer tikka masala with your favorite side!
Tips for serving
There are multiple ways to serve this delicious paneer tikka masala. Here are some of my favorites:
- Rice: I love combining any kind of curry with fluffy white rice. This paneer tikka masala goes super well with white rice.
- Naan bread: Naan bread is a classic Indian side and it tastes amazing with paneer tikka masala. There are lots of easy recipes on how to make Naan bread yourself, so try any of them and serve as a side to this curry dish.
- Cauliflower rice: If you want a low carb and more nutrient dense side, then serve the paneer tikka masala with cauliflower rice. It tastes great and is super healthy!
More healthy and easy meals
If you want to try out more easy, healthy and super delicious recipes, these recipes might be what you need:
- Thai Peanut Curry with Chicken
- Indian Shrimp Curry
- Homemade Chicken Soup
- Easy Beef Chili
- Classic Stovetop Beef Stew
Paneer Tikka Masala
- 12 oz paneer
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ tbsp ginger grated
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp avocado oil
- 1 onion
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 chile pepper minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 2 cups tomato passata
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mince the garlic and ginger for the marinade and the sauce. Then, add the greek yogurt, ginger, garlic and spices for the marinade to a bowl and mix them. Now, cut the paneer into large cubes and add them to the bowl with the marinade. Mix everything until the paneer is evenly covered with the marinade. Set aside until step 3.
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C) and preheat a pot or large pan over medium heat with the avocado oil.
- Next, cut the onion and chile pepper into fine dices. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chile pepper to the pot and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato paste and the spices for the sauce and sauté shortly. Then, add the tomato passata, coconut milk, and salt and pepper. Cover the pot and let the sauce simmer for approx. 15 minutes.
- While the sauce simmers, place the paneer on a baking sheet and bake it in the oven until golden. Make sure to check on the paneer and flip the cubes so they don't burn on the bottom side.
- Add the paneer to the sauce, check if you need more salt, pepper or ground chili powder and serve with rice. Enjoy!
- I recommend adding some vegetables to the curry. I like to use bell pepper, carrots, zucchini or snap peas. Be creative and use the veggies you love! Sauté them shortly with the other ingredients and let the curry simmer until they are soft enough.